Sesame Workshop tried to defuse controversy after the ridiculous Big Bird ad from Team Obama after the first presidential debate, proclaiming “Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns.” But a quick look at the campaign contributions of Joan Ganz Cooney, the group’s co-founder, offer a strong factual rebuttal.

In 2012, according to an Open Secrets search, Cooney has donated $30,800 [the maximum] to the DNC, $50,000 to Priorities USA Action (Obama’s super PAC), another $10,000 to the Nebraska Democratic Party, and $5,000 to Bob Kerrey’s attempt to reclaim his Senate seat in Nebraska. She also gave $2,000 to liberal Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and $2,500 to John Douglass, who’s running against first-term Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Virginia).

In 2011, Cooney donated $30,800 [the maximum] to the DNC, $5,000 to Barack Obama, and $5,000 to liberal Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). .

The website Newsmeat reports Cooney gave the DNC $30,400 in 2009 and $30,400 in 2010, as well as $9,100 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2010. She gave the “Obama Victory Fund” $33,100 in 2008. She also donated $25,000 to the DNC in 2004. All these Cooney donations (not the complete list) add up to more than $250,000.

Cooney’s not the only Sesame Workshop executive whose name comes up on Open Secrets. Maura Harway, a vice president for finance at the Workshop, also donated $2,250 to Barack Obama in the last two years.

Newsmeat reports Harway donated $2,550 to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008 and $2,000 to John Kerry’s campaign in 2004. She especially liked Hillary Clinton, donating $4,350 to her 2008 presidential run and another $3,950 to “Friends of Hillary” (the Senate campaign fund) over the years.

Read more here.

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